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 Joanna Warwick-Dugdale

Joanna Warwick-Dugdale

PhD Student


 Geoffrey Pope 328a


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I am a student marine microbial ecologist with a passion for understanding how communities of the smallest marine organisms (i.e. bacteria; archaea; algae; viruses) function to drive systems at large scales (e.g. nutrient cycling). My background as a diving instructor sparked my interest in coral reef health, and from there I became fascinated by the ‘holobiont’: organisms are host to microbial communities that are vital to everyday function. Whilst investigating algae-virus interactions and large scale algae culture with Dr Mike Allen at PML, my interests evolved to include microbial function at larger scales, such as the effect of plankton blooms on nutrient cycling by microbial communities. After an internship isolating cyanobacteria from the Red Sea with Dr John Archer at KAUST, I have returned to PML as UoE student, and under the supervision of Dr Ben Temperton I am undertaking a PhD investigating microbial carbon cycling in shelf seas.

Broad research specialisms:

Marine microbial ecology; marine microbe culture and characterization; molecular ecology; bioinformatics; community dynamics.

Research projects

Project Title: Investigating the impact of viral-host interaction on marine microbial carbon metabolism in Open Ocean and coastal systems

Supervisors: Dr Ben Temperton Professor Thomas Richards


BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology (First Class)


Research projects

Project Title: Investigating the role of benthic-pelagic coupling of microbial communities in carbon cycling within the Western Channel Observatory (WCO)

Supervisors: Dr Ben Temperton; Dr Karen Tait; Professor Tom Richards

Funding Body: NERC (DTP GW4+)

Project Description:
By pairing bioinformatic models with experimental validation, this project will investigate how carbon flux shapes microbial communities in the WCO. Sequence-based bioinformatic network analysis of (time-series) community profiles will be employed to formulate hypotheses on taxa interactions in the degradation of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) by benthic and pelagic microbes. Vitally, model systems will then be developed and employed to test such hypotheses in the laboratory. This approach will reveal the key microbes and metabolic pathways involved in carbon cycling in coastal and shelf seas.


Towards the industrial production of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from a genetically modified diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Accepted; PLOS ONE) M Hamilton, J Warwick-Dugdale, M Allen, J Napier, O Sayanova


Supervision / Group

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